“myThe Advanced Oenophile

It would be impossible to be an active participant in the Houston wine scene without having encountered Denman Moody, one of the most well known and prolific wine authorities and writers in the country. Over many years, Denman has been as tireless and enthusiastic in his study and tasting of wine as he has been in his cultivation of friendships and relationships with the world’s greatest wine luminaries, as well as in the incorporation of his wine expertise into numerous philanthropic efforts and pursuits.

Sitting next to Denman at a wine tasting is an experience to be remembered and, for those who would like to know what it’s like, or for those who would enjoy reminiscing about what it actually was like, reading The Advanced Oenophile is a good place to start. In this book you will find a lifetime of thoughts, recollections, opinions and experiences of a person who has thoroughly immersed himself in the world of wine at some of the highest levels, and in every corner of the globe.

Mr. Moody covers what he considers to be the salient features and facts of the wines of the world, including France, California, Oregon, Washington, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Germany, South Africa and Israel. He also includes articles by other writers, including ones on Port and Madeira by Bartholomew Broadbent, and one on Asia’s current wine scene by Debra Meiberg, M.W.

There is no shortage of accounts of some of the greatest wine dinners, auctions and tastings ever held, at which Mr. Moody had a ring side seat. Included in these recollections are some very interesting tasting notes, many by Michael Broadbent, possibly the greatest expert and taster of our generation. There are also several examples of Mr. Moody’s unbelievable blind tasting prowess.

Some of the most enjoyable parts of the book include descriptions of some of the wine-centric trips that the author has taken with his wife, Marijo. California, Burgundy, the Finger Lakes in New York, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Banff, Israel and Portugal are some of the locations described in pleasant detail, all through a lens focused on wine and food.

Interspersed between the mini travelogues and exegeses on geography, topography, varietals, vintner’s techniques and wine styles, are the authors thoughts, developed over many years, on a variety of disparate, wine-related topics. If you would enjoy an avuncular discourse on phylloxera, sulfites, perfect serving temperatures, wine snobs, Old World vs. New World, blind tasting, interesting personalities, collecting wine, hosting wine parties, value wines vs. elite wines, letting wine breath, screw caps, terroir, wine in the Bible, food and wine pairing, cellaring wine, the 1961 Clarets and more, look no further. It’s almost as good as actually hearing Mr. Moody discuss these topics over a few glasses of good wine.

The Advanced Oenophile is an enjoyable, interesting book in which anyone who loves wine will find something to be entertained by.

Joe Abuso is the chef/owner of Recipes & Rotations – Real Food for Mom and Dad, menus, recipes and associated tools to senior-living communities. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has cooked at some of the country’s best restaurants.